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Monday, September 14, 2015

Hadar and Waiouru

"There are some people in life that make you laugh a little louder,  smile a little bigger, and live a little longer."  ~ Anonymous

     Sorry to take so long to post folks. Between working part time (people forget that only Les is living it up as a retiree), activities of daily living like cleaning, laundry, dishes, cooking, etc., and keeping Les on a regimen for his health, I find myself continually playing catch up time-wise.
Entrance to the Saltisford Arm
     Last week we cruised from Radford Semele to Warwick, stopped to pick up groceries at the almost-canal-side Tesco store, Les did some running around in town for manly bits and bobs, we filled up with water, came up the two Cape locks and stopped at dusk far later than we usually do, totally knackered and pleased that our nearest neighbors were dead quiet all night. We were of course moored by a cemetery!
   For some reason we lost our Freeview television which had been working fine the previous evening, and that put Les in a tizzy. We don't watch a lot of telly but we do have our favorite shows at any given time: Canals-The Making of a Nation was airing a six part series we didn't want to miss; Rick Stein's food travelogue, From Venice to Istanbul is one of my latest favorites and we are both enjoying the latest series of New Tricks and Terry and Mason's Food Adventures. I will leave it to Les to bring you all up to date on The Freeview Saga and how he fixed it in another post.
Looking down the Saltisford Arm
     The next afternoon saw a welcome spot of sunshine as we cruised into Saltisford Arm to a joyous reunion with our friends Keith and Jo Lodge on NB Hadar.  The last time we saw each other was at Bourne End in March of 2013 as Les and I were on the way down to the Lee & Stort and then the Thames.
     In the interim ill health visited both boats with Les' diagnosis of cancer and Keith's biliary operation and recovery. Suffice it to say both men look great and feel well and Jo is as radiant as ever.
     We spent two days moored in Arm and I have to say it is lovely there. The gardens are delightful, the Saltisford Arm Trust take great care of the buildings and property, and it is a simple walk out the side gate and down the sidewalk to catch a bus into the center of Warwick.
     Sadly, I didn't get to see Warwick Castle because I've injured my left knee quite badly. Two visits to a local osteopath finally got the muscles and tendons to relax but the treatment was excruciating.
Keith and Jo in front of NB Hadar
     Meanwhile I hobbled around the grounds of the Arm and delighted specifically in Jo and Keith's boat-side garden. Tea and a long natter aboard Hadar brought us both up to speed. I met Marmite the boat cat and Paddy the dog.
      The Lodge's came to dinner aboard NB Valerie and the craic was grand. If you ever get a chance to hear Keith's stories of working on a historic narrow boat don't miss it. His blue eyes sparkle with delight as he spins a good yarn of the once-ways on the cut. He knows more about working and living aboard than the rest of us have forgotten.
      Jo is filled with energetic light and laughter. It seems the Saltisford Arm Trust is a good fit for her and the Arm is a fantastic place for NB Hadar as a permanent mooring.
     We introduced them to several board games, including The Great Game of Britain--a railroad game of great strategy and fun which our friends Sue and Ken Deveson on NB Cleddau introduced to us last March. We knew after our first game it was our kind of fun and we found a used game set on E-Bay. Keith liked it so much he ordered one for Hadar!
    We cruised out of the arm and settled nearby on the towpath so Les could get stuck into fixing our Freeview. He had previously mapped out our travel so we could be at Hatton Railroad Station for Tuesday the 15th. He has to travel down to London for the latest scan results. Ahead of us we had the 21 lock Hatton Flight--my first huge flight of locks--to climb up before we reached the station.  It was my hope the osteopath treatments would sort my knee as they did last January, so I could take the locks in turn with Les doing five, switching off and steering for five, doing five more, etc.
Looking up the 21 lock Hatton Flight: up 146 feet in less then two miles!
     The morning came to attempt the flight. We stepped out on the stern with tiller and pin in hand to see NB Waiouru turning into the Saltisford Arm! We strolled down to say goodbye to Jo and Keith and hello to Tom and Jan.
     The Lodges were out but we did manage a cup of tea and a piece of Jan's lovely cherry cake before we finally said we've got to go do the flight. Tom kindly offered to help us and so the three of us set off--I steered and the men worked the locks. Two hours and thirty five minutes later in lovely sunny weather and we were up! Both men looked hot and knackered, so I fixed scrambled egg burritos and American Lemonade for lunch. Many thanks Tom for your help.
Out of one lock...
     My knee pad (patella) is catching on the lower left corner and putting any weight on my knee has been terribly painful as its quite swollen. The osteopath recommended a visit to a GP for a possible scan to see if I might have a torn miniscus. I've been to the GP as a temporary patient and she has dubiously ordered x-rays of both knees and physio for me, so we are stuck here in the area for the foreseeable future and it is Les' turn to take care of me.
     I can travel by train down to Warwick Station for £2.42 round trip--less than it costs me to travel anywhere in this country by bus! It takes eleven minutes and we are in central Warwick so that makes it handy for appointments. Les has a senior rail card so he can travel for £1.20!
and into the next!
     Meanwhile this has been a lovely, quiet stretch of canal which is exactly what we prefer.  The trains are close by but they don't bother us and they are seldom the high speed Virgin trains that rip through the countryside lifting the sod as they fly by with their obnoxious sounding horns.
     I sanded the port side of the boat and Les painted it. We also got a handle on our water pump which has been running off-on-off-on-off-on continually for months, driving me barmy as I try to sit and read in the evening. That too is another Les tale to tell, it being manly man kind of work and all! Now we just need to get our Ebispacher fuel operated heater serviced, and I think we will be ready to head north after a bit more work on my knee.
     NB Waiouru is coming up the Hatton Flight in the rain this afternoon and I've invited Tom and Jan to dinner for Spaghetti Bolagnese, so she won't have to cook after all that work. We are looking forward to another evening of good craic in the company of friends. To quote Mo of NB Balmaha, one of the kindest, funniest, and most delightful boaters I've ever met, "Aren't boater's the loveliest people?" Yes Mo they are...and not a one of them we've met will ever be forgotten.


Jo Lodge said...

To my darling friends. You brightened our days whilst you spent it in the Arm. It was wonderful to catch-up with all the news. Thank you for entertaining us and feeding us we both had a wonderful time. Our game is on its way. We will now have to introduce other people to it and who knows we may start a gamers network :-).
I hope all goes well with the Knee. I had a similar problem in 2004 and was on crutches for a few weeks whilst they sorted it out.

If you down near the arm and need anything please let us know. Your always welcome to come into the Arm. You get the first night free as you know. Ian is always happy to help where he can.

Love and Hugsss Jo & Keith xx

Adam said...

The way you've described Keith with his sparkly blue eyes is exactly right! We always enjoy bumping into the Hadars.
Hope your knee gets better, and there's good news from Les's scan results.

Mrs. Jaqueline Biggs said...

Thank you Jo. We have to consider a trip back down the flight if it looks like we will be here very long. It is reassuring to know good friends wait at the end of the flight. Jaqxxx

Mrs. Jaqueline Biggs said...

Hi Adam,
I think sometimes that Keith Lodge is related closely to Father Christmas--he has the same twinkly blue eyes that hint of fabulous tales and mysterious doings!

We will keep folks posted regarding the scans and my knee. As Les is fond of saying, "I'm a boater. You cannot keep a boater down for long."

Meanwhile we are enjoying your trip to Gloucester via your blog.
Please give our love to Adrian.

locheriboll said...

Sorry to hear about the knee. That must make life really challenging. Hope you get fixed up soon. I have a fascinating picture in my head of Les's manly bits and bobs! Enough said ;)

Sally xx

Adrian said...

Scrambled egg burritos and American lemonade sounds just lovely..... A fair reward for a couple of hours of lock wheeling.....

Mrs. Jaqueline Biggs said...

LOL! Oh Sally, you'll have to go sit on the naughty step now! My knee is feeling better and the swelling has gone down more than it has since July when I first injured it.

Mrs. Jaqueline Biggs said...

Thanks Adrian. I wish we'd had time to visit when you and Adam passed, but I knew how far Gloucestershire was so I thought perhaps next time our paths cross we can have a cuppa and a good natter.

locheriboll said...

Oh good! The knee not the naughty step 😉

NB Valerie & Steam Train by Les Biggs

NB Valerie & Steam Train by Les Biggs